Making money in Photography means treating it like a business. Consider these tips and watch your business grow.When you move from amateur to making money in photography, you need a professional image and outlook. Balance creative effort with commercial basics for a successful business.For many photographers a business in photography is more difficult than the shooting of photos. There is contact with people, business decisions, taxes, appointments, contracts, releases and a host of other business issues to deal with. Sometimes it is tempting to just close it out, get the cameras and go somewhere on a shoot that reminds you why you are a photographer. Sometimes you can do that, but when making money in photography is the goal it can not be all the time.This means the top two tips are related. Set your fee for profit. To do this you must know your expenses. Many give up on photography as a business because of the business end, which must be tended to. If you need to line up an accountant and promotion person do it, but these are two things that must be done in order to get your name out there. This needs to be done in order to get bookings to generate income.This seems like basic information but it is a tripping point for many who seek the creative side of photography and forget the business side the making money side which is needed in order to keep doing the creative side!It is also important to understand this need not be time consuming. Spend a half hour in the morning tending to promotional publicity things. The last thing before you turn in at night record your expenses and cash in for the day.Promotional items can be very affordable. A promotional magnet on your car, business cards (plenty of them!), perhaps a few ball caps with business name on them, calendar magnets to give to those who book shoots. This is under $80 and can be done right where you are at places like VistaPrint. Look professional!Have a sound portfolio available and an up to date website. Figure in these expenses as well as other ones that are smaller that are sometimes not considered. These may include:
the costs of maintaining your vehicle to get to shoots
expenses from batteries to equipment at the shoot
lights and electricity costs can add up
Paper, toner for the copier, on down to paper clips and staples
In addition figure in a portion that is set aside for equipment. This is for new equipment or that which gets damaged and needs to be replaced and might be $10 on a $150 shoot. Only when you know what your normal expenses are can you come close to setting your fee.Those expenses are important because if you do not charge enough to make a profit you will not be in business long. You can not lose money forever! Talk to other photographers, find a specialty or niche.While you might be able to photograph anything, there is also credibility as an expert when you find your niche market. Some examples of specialty markets:
Pets and animal
Many that sound like a good idea – for example real estate – are not enough to turn a profit. With technology today’s cameras enable agents to do their own real estate photos at no cost which removes the profit for you. Consider your interests.Be honest with yourself about your likes and dislikes. If you really don’t care to be around children, specializing in photographing children, will be a chore and probably not your best use of time. As many have said: If you do what you love, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. What do you love to photograph? How can you market that?When you are pursuing a career that must bring in the money you may have to think outside the box. How much will you give away? Remember, in setting prices it isn’t just the shooting photos but also editing those photos which can be time consuming. How much time do you allow and do you charge extra for rush service?Some of these may not be an issue in the beginning, but setting a policy also keeps in check those who would take advantage of the situation. There are some general business books that can help in transforming your business but there are also some situations unique to photographers. It helps to have a mentor to discuss details with, whether this is a forum online or another photographerMaking money with photography can be a tough thing but with paying attention to details and planning for not just now but down the road can pay off both literally and figuratively speaking.